Distinguished philosopher Hilary Putnam, who is also a practicing Jew, questions the thought of three major Jewish philosophers of the 20th century - Franz Rosenzweig, Martin Buber, and Emmanuel Levinas -- to help him reconcile the philosophical and religious sides of his life. An additional presence in the book is Ludwig Wittgenstein, who, although not a practicing Jew, thought about religion in ways that Putnam juxtaposes to the views of Rosenzweig, Buber, and Levinas.
Putnam explains the leading ideas of each of these great thinkers, bringing out what, in his opinion, constitutes the decisive intellectual and spiritual contributions of each of them. Although the religion discussed is Judaism, the depth and originality of these philosophers, as incisively interpreted by Putnam, make their thought nothing less than a guide to life.
"Putnam is a master teacher, and his elucidations are valuable in themselves." (
"One of the most distinguished analytical philosophers, Putnam has written an unusual book that uses the thought of key philosophers to find points of commonality between the religious and the philosophical." ( Library Journal)
"Written by the distinguished emeritus professor of analytical philosophy, this intriguing little study is a concise presentation of three figures in modern Jewish thought: Franz Rosenzweig, Martin Buber, and Emmanuel Levinas." ( AJS Review)
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